Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight June 23, 2021

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/1385567

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 26

ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION JUNE 23, 2021 Page 2 A Closer Look at the Truck Driver Shortage…continued from page 1 Continued on page 4 It's Not Just a Pandemic Problem The driver shortage has been a long-standing problem nationwide. The pandemic seems to have made it worse, or at least, exposed the weaknesses of the system. As millions took to doing a great deal of their shopping online truckers of different types were needed. The market shifted rapidly in some sectors. For example, trucking of fuel first dropped dramatically when everyone stayed home, and then restarted at almost full speed when the vaccines became widely available. In the meantime, truckers made career decisions based on their own needs, not that of the market. So we are where we are. According to ATA, the biggest shortage overall is in long haul truckers. A combination of factors contributes to this including: • Historic pay rates and systems of compensation • Time away from home • Demographics—The average age of long haul truck drivers is 48 and many are retiring. There's also a gender imbalance. Only six percent of truckers are women, and when any job is primarily filled by only one segment of the population, it naturally shrinks the pool of applicants. A couple of other factors that are sometimes mentioned in regard to trucking also bear mentioning. Age limits. A person cannot legally drive a semi in interstate commerce until s/he is 21 years of age. There is a movement afoot to lower the age to 18 years, but support is mixed for this measure. More importantly, even if it went into effect, it would have a comparatively small effect on the applicant pool. Turnover. The federal government estimates that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 long-haul truckers in the United States. And according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, state governments issue more than 450,000 new commercial driver's licenses every year. In other words, the total number of CDL- licensed drivers could, theoretically at least, double in any given year. How could there be a shortage? According to the ATA's data, turnover for over-the-road truckers is a jaw-dropping 92 percent annually, and it has been for years. Turnover for smaller truckload carriers is 72 percent. In other words, most positions have to be refilled every 12–15 months, and often drivers simply leave the field for some other work. Substance use as a disqualifier. The legalization of several forms of cannabis/marijuana products throughout the country makes it more complicated to keep drivers on the road. Many drivers choose to partake in these substances which are often legal to use—unless you are a truck driver subject to random drug screenings. This can have an extreme effect on the pool of available drivers. But it is not just cannabis. The latest data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse shows that while marijuana products make up more than half (58 percent) of all positive tests, 15 other substances account for the remaining 42 percent.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Portable Sanitation Association International - Association Insight June 23, 2021